K: This is our last post from Denver and with the sweltering temperatures here in Texas, we sure wish that we could return to Colorado! These photos are from an afternoon walk in downtown Denver but Brandon and I thought it would be fun to share three things that we always try to do when we’re traveling. Not only do these tips ensure a better trip, but it ensures that you’re going to be stress-free and that you’ll remember the happy moments from your travels.
1. Pick Purposeful Flights
We’ve learned our lesson with this one! On our flight home from Costa Rica, we weren’t due to arrive in San Antonio until midnight. Both Brandon and I had work the next day and we were beyond exhausted. We decided it was too hard on us to book our flights with a late return and then go to work the next day. Our new rule is to either have a buffer day in between so that we can regroup, unpack, and organize, or make sure that we’re catching an early flight home.
In addition to this, we always try to plan our flights so that we’re arriving at our hotel destination in the early afternoon. Most hotels won’t let you check in until 3:00 PM, so you might as well try to find a flight that will land a bit before that, ensuring that you can catch a ride to the hotel and not have to wait for your room to be ready. It’s also nice to have the evening to settle in, grab some dinner, and get used to the city or destination. I’ve found that after a full day of travel, the last thing I want to do is a big excursion or something.
2. Pay Ahead and Make Reservations
One of the nicest things you can do for yourself when planning a trip or vacation is to pay ahead of time. Depending on how much time you have for planning, try to book in advance and pay off the plane ticket on your credit card as soon as possible. When we book at hotels, we will always try to pay right then and there, as opposed to when we’re checking out. There’s nothing worse than ending your fabulous trip and coming home to a massive pile of bills.
In finding where to eat and what to do, Brandon and I both believe in a balance. We love having the option to explore, walk the streets, and stumble upon a quaint restaurant. At the same time, sometimes it can be overwhelming to choose two or three different restaurants a day for your meals. We recommend having an idea of where you’d like to go and potentially having a reservation for your top restaurant choices. It has always worked out well for us if I can make a list of the good restaurants (based off research and recommendations), and then we’ll usually try to eat at one of the recommended spots per each day of the trip. Everything else is by happenstance, depending on our moods and what looks good.
3. Find a Keepsake
This piece of advice is so important to both Brandon and I. We vowed that on each of our trips, we’ll bring some sort of souvenir keepsake home. When we honeymooned in Mexico, we brought back embroidered pillows from the local market. From Charleston, it was a watercolor print of a pineapple to symbolize hospitality. From Denver, we found a street artist typing out poems, based off your personal topic request. All of these items now have a special place in our home and I can’t help but think how cool our collection will be in fifty years. It’s such a wonderful way to remember the special moments from your travels and it will guarantee that you can talk about your trips and reminisce about the past.